Monday, October 04, 2010


Okay so. I'll admit when I was wrong.

Tony Danza's Teach does show what it's like to be a teacher. In the pilot he doesn't have the kind of discipline issues most teachers get, but he does have the general problems aside from discipline that we all have. But it's the pilot; it looks like in future episodes he will have to deal with some discipline issues. The first week the kids are figuring you out. The second week they're testing you.

There's a scene in the preview of upcoming episodes where he walks out in the middle of class and thinks about leaving. Oh yeah, I've been there. I've cried in the hallway in the arms of another teacher while my kids sat in my room waiting for me to come back. So I guess this show is for real.

I found myself willing him advice.

I found myself wondering if they said the same things about me in my first year that they said about him. I am both terrified and amazed at how much logic and empathy the kids used when talking about him.

I heard him say things exactly like the things I have said, because much like Tony Danza, I am manic in the classroom and I still talk too much.

With that in mind, the best advice I ever got as a teacher:

-When you ask a question, wait. And wait. Eventually one of them will get more uncomfortable than you are with the silence, and they'll answer the question.

-At the end of the day, the kids should be tired, not you. Make them do all the work, even if that work is mental

-Make the kids think you're crazy. If they think you're crazy, they'll always be a little scared of what you might do if they piss you off.


  1. Anonymous3:38 PM

    My poem about crazies and why crazies rule....

    you know some of the best screenwriters are crazy
    but then money
    so to all these conservative intellectual wankers how come most half-ass thesewriters hate crazy writers?
    crazy writers make the most money
    and crazy
    crazy makes readers out there, leavemoney
    some of the hottest writers for tv shows are
    so to all conservative intellectual wankers us crazy people alone
    i am crazy, i love
    hey non-crazies, leave us crazies alone

  2. Well, damn, always a Tony Danza fan, now even more so, what a great guy. Thanks for sharing, Emily, and it's a reality show, why you're getting notes of authentic, interview with Danza re show here.

    And wow does our education system need all the attention and love it can get. We are basically last in math and science in the world (but think we're first), and only celebratory note I've found in years is here, story about Brockton High School (public, poor, 4,100 students, got turned around by focusing on reading, writing, and reasoning in every single class... focusing on reasoning makes kids smarter, go figure).

  3. Unfortunately you're right, the accomplishments don't usually get publicized. Our school has also improved greatly but we just quietly celebrate as we slowly move up the achievement ladder.


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